Sci-fi is quickly turning into non-fiction. As our understanding of science fiction begins to catch up with reality, everyone is waiting to see what far-future concepts come next. For tech company Sony, that future is a distant collaboration.
In a recent video, Sony detailed a vision for 2050 put together by a team of designers. The video takes a look at a possibility for a high-tech life in a few decades that sees everyone paired with an avatar. Instead of gruelling physical labour, all work is done through this digital double. But it's not perfect.
Sony 2050 digital doubles
The high-concept pitch explores a world where these digital doubles already exist. This is a world where “human capabilities have been developed” to the point where digital avatars can work for us. In this world, physical essential workers are still important. However, as a result, their social status and wages “have increased dramatically”.
Sony's concept envisions an environment where those who don't choose to be essential workers can “engage in more enjoyable work”. Backed by “a system of universal basic income that guarantees a decent living for every citizen”, life is seen as more fulfilling.
Sony is keen to note that everything within the video is fiction. While it's a concept put together by its product designers, the video has no “connection with Sony products and services”.
A lonely future?
The sci-fi pitch does show us what a lovely, collaborative environment could be. However, it’s not a perfect utopia; mostly due to the story’s brief demanding a romantic subplot. In the story, protagonist Taira finishes his essential job and heads home. Once home, his assistant appears as a digital avatar.
Taira and his assistant Natsu are in a relationship. However, as they only see each other as digital avatars, Tiara is uncertain that his partner is her real self. He embraces the hologram, but there's a ping of sadness.